If you want to earn more as a freelancer, you need to sharpen your negotiation techniques. Seriously. When a prospective client makes you an offer, your ability to negotiate the scope of work and your fee can pay off in two important ways.
First, negotiation techniques can help boost your cash flow. Second, and more significantly, negotiation techniques can help you establish a higher rate for each subsequent piece you write for a client.
Let me share an example with you that went particularly well.
I’d been wooing a potential content marketing client in one of my niche areas. We discussed a project on the phone for a while, and then the editor made me a low-ball offer of $300 per piece. Based on the time it would take me to deliver what we’d discussed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the work quickly enough for it to be worth my while.
I wanted to work with this client, so I countered the offer by using a couple of key negotiation techniques. The result: I managed to get a contract for $750 per piece — more than double the initial offer.
Want to know how I did it? Use these proven negotiation techniques to get paid more:
Read more ›
NOTE: Ever wonder what the secret sauce is to writing a guest post pitch that gets accepted? This was a popular topic on my blog five years ago, and it still is. Study these examples to learn how to pitch a guest post and land an assignment. Enjoy! –Carol.
A few weeks back, I talked about bad guest post pitches I’ve received, and outlined some of the elements of a good one.
One writer asked if I would show some examples of pitches that were accepted here — so here are three.
One needed a little back-and-forth and refining before it was accepted, as you’ll see.
I also noticed that each of these pitches had weaknesses to them, too. Guest post pitches don’t have to be perfect — but they do have to convey that you have a strong, unique idea, know how to execute it, and have some experience in freelance writing.
The idea also needs to be something I haven’t written about before, and probably wouldn’t have thought to do otherwise.
Want to learn how to write an effective guest post pitch? Here’s what you need to know.
Read more ›
They pay late, or too little. They’re not sure what they want. They’re unavailable when you have questions, and sometimes downright abusive when they do pick up the phone. They’re clients from hell, and as a freelancer, you just don’t need this grief.
And yet, tales of client woes are an epidemic in the freelance world. Stories of the best friend you went to work for, who underpaid you for years. Or the company that never raised your rates, even as your responsibilities grew. The one that disappeared with your big final payment.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid freelance writing clients from hell like these?
Well, for the most part, you can! There are some classic warning signs that things will go wrong — if you know what to look for.
Here’s my guide to quickly screening out losers:
Read more ›
When you’ve created over 900 posts full of free help for freelance writers, it’s hard to remember every single post. Becomes a bit of a blur!
But a few posts stand out in my memory, because I keep sending their links out to struggling writers, week after week. They’re posts that address a writer’s critical need to understand some aspect of freelancing.
You’ve got urgent questions about how to make it as a freelance writer — and these are the posts that deliver the answers.
I can’t remember where I put my sweater half the time these days, but there are a few key posts that come easily to mind, because I find myself sending writers off to read them again and again.
After nearly a decade (!) writing this blog to provide help for freelance writers, these seven posts seem to address the most common problems freelancers face:
Read more ›
What would you do if a prospect asked to see your writing portfolio right now?
In the perfect world, you’d point them to a link that shows off your best work. Why? Every potential client wants to see samples of your writing to find out if you’re the right fit.
You’ve got an online writing portfolio, right?
If you’re laughing nervously now because you don’t, or you have one but you know it needs help, that’s OK. I’m going to show you how to fix that.
Your writing portfolio is one of your most important marketing tools to attract and impress potential clients.
Point a prospect to your portfolio, and you want to capture their attention with an attractive and appealing design and great writing so they hire you.
If your writing portfolio is confusing or uninviting, the prospect might click away and never return. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some ways to design a dazzling online writing portfolio:
Read more ›
Ever have one of your freelance writing jobs turn into a total disaster? It happens, even to experienced writers.
I know, because it recently happened to me. After roughly 18 years of freelancing.
This flameout happened on a $3,000 corporate research report project that required intensive interviewing. I’d done these sort of projects in the past, loved them, was excited to do another one.
Then I did my research, put my list of possible interview subjects together, sent out hundreds of inquiries — roughly triple what I’d needed in the past to land the 6-8 interviews required — and got zero responses. Not. A. One.
It’s been a long time since one of my freelance writing jobs ended in failure. In fact, I’d only ever had one other article that got killed, at the very beginning of my career. Having a complete whiff this late in my career was a humbling experience.
What should you do if the worst happens and one of your freelance writing jobs gets screwed up? Here’s my guide to keeping it professional and minimizing the damage, when everything that could go wrong does:
Read more ›